Keysar Trad: Why should polygamy be a crime?

In the pages of The Age, Keysar Trad asks why polygamy should be a crime.

Rather than argue that polygamy should be explicitly legalised and regulated by law, it might be better to simply argue that this is simply an issue of freedom of contract and individuals should be free to enter into whatever contracts they want without state interference.

15 comments ↓

#1 Kevin V Russell on 10.06.09 at 10:33 am

I’ll agree with polygamy when Keyser agrees with polyandry. It won’t happen of course

#2 u235sentinel on 10.06.09 at 11:27 am

Makes sense to me. There is no legitimate reason for the practice to be illegal. And while there are issues with today’s practice of it, those issues are not related to the practice itself but are issues in which other laws are already in place.

#3 null on 10.06.09 at 9:08 pm

Did anyone see him at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas?

#4 Greego on 10.07.09 at 1:56 am

“I’ll agree with polygamy when Keyser agrees with polyandry.”

Polyandry is a type of polygamy. However, you’re right, he’s clearly endorsing polygyny and not polyandry.

#5 GMan on 10.07.09 at 6:03 pm

I’ll agree with it when a. Keysar agrees with polyandry and b. I’m assured that my taxes won’t be paying to support his 27 children by four current and half a dozen ex wives in 10 years.

#6 Amir on 10.07.09 at 7:12 pm

GMan, but would you agree with the proposition that all marriage contracts should be privatised and a person should be absolutely free to enter into a contract with whoever and as many people as he or she pleases? This seems, to me, to the best option for dealing with a whole raft of issues.

#7 GMan on 10.08.09 at 1:30 pm

Well technically yes, I suppose, as I have no interest in regulating anyone’s personal relationships whether they’re involved with someone of the same gender or several partners at once or whatever. But unintended consequences bother me.

A contract is all very well but if some bloke with no assets goes about charming and marrying and having children with and divorcing multiple women, there’s going to be a lot of children around with no father figure in their lives, and you only need to look at African-American communities to see the consequences of that. I realise that you don’t need polygamy to have fatherless families, but it seems to me that it increases the risk exponentially.

Polygamy may well have a very useful function in tribal societies but tribalism is incompatible with modern life in the West, and its modern equivalents are the source of some of our biggest social problems.

#8 Kevin V Russell on 10.08.09 at 2:49 pm

I’ll agree that domestic partnerships should be privatised when all forms of social welfare are abolished. All transfer paayments that are paid simply for children or marital staus have no place in a modern society. The Government should not be favoring certain family arrangements over others.

#9 Ian on 10.12.09 at 12:38 pm

Agree totally with Kevin Russell. Let Keyser Trad and his ilk do what they wish. As long as I don’t have to support them. No welfare and minimal (place a tax on land) taxes.

#10 John Humpheys on 10.15.09 at 12:22 pm

Of course Amir is 110% right.

GMan — are you suggesting that the current law prevents fatherless families, divorce, or cheap sex? As far as I can tell, legalising polygamy (or entirely privatising marriage) would just mean a few people could stop lying and the government could stop regulating our sex life.

#11 George Carty on 11.07.09 at 11:09 pm

“Abolish welfare” is code for “starve the untermenschen”.

It’s not the fault of laid-off Western workers that the cost of living in their countries is many times greater than it is in China or India, it it?

#12 Fed Up on 11.11.09 at 10:21 am

Trad is living in Australia – when I lasted looked our country isn’t run by Sharia Law…..yet. Let the bastard immigrate to a Islamic country that does support these practices. Next they will be ask for Female Genital Mutilation, beheading and stonings to be introduced under the guise of ‘muslim rights’.

#13 Yobbo on 11.16.09 at 1:52 pm

Polygamy doesn’t infringe anyone’s rights unless they are somehow being forced to marry.

In fact polygamy makes a lot of sense in places where the best option for women is to find a wealthy husband – the wealthiest men can support many women this way.

It’s hardly as necessary in Australia but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea either. A large percentage of traditional marriages end in divorce, evidence would suggest this is less likely in places where polygamy is allowed or tolerated (eg the middle east and asia).

The only real drawback of polygamy on a large scale is the possibility of the poorer men in society being left alone and angry – a recipe for trouble.

#14 Kevin V Russell on 12.24.09 at 7:21 am

A large percentage of traditional marriages end in divorce, evidence would suggest this is less likely in places where polygamy is allowed or tolerated (eg the middle east and asia).

You are confusing cause and effect. The countries that tolerate polygamy also make it extremely difficult for women to get divorced (of course they also discount the evidence of women in trials for rape as well – are you seeing a pettern here???)

#15 Yobbo on 01.13.10 at 3:29 am

It’s not difficult at all for a woman to get divorced in Asia.

It is however a lot more difficult for them to take any of their husband’s wealth with them when they do, which probably contributes to the lower divorce rate.

Leave a Comment